Category: poetry

“The Choice between Young and Old” By Artist Cornelis van Haarlem 

A Madrigal by William Shakespeare

Crabbed Age and Youth
Cannot live together :
Youth is full of pleasance,
Age is full of care ;

Youth like summer morn,
Age like winter weather ;
Youth like summer brave,
Age like winter bare :

Youth is full of sports,
Age’s breath is short,
Youth is nimble, Age is lame :

Youth is hot and bold,
Age is weak and cold,
Youth is wild, and Age is tame :

Age, I do abhor thee ;
Youth, I do adore thee ;
O ! my Love, my Love is young !

Age, I do defy thee –
O sweet shepherd, hie thee,
For methinks thou stay’st too long.

“The Choice between Young and Old” By Artist Cornelis van Haarlem 

A Madrigal by William Shakespeare

Crabbed Age and Youth
Cannot live together :
Youth is full of pleasance,
Age is full of care ;

Youth like summer morn,
Age like winter weather ;
Youth like summer brave,
Age like winter bare :

Youth is full of sports,
Age’s breath is short,
Youth is nimble, Age is lame :

Youth is hot and bold,
Age is weak and cold,
Youth is wild, and Age is tame :

Age, I do abhor thee ;
Youth, I do adore thee ;
O ! my Love, my Love is young !

Age, I do defy thee –
O sweet shepherd, hie thee,
For methinks thou stay’st too long.

image

The little Love-god lying once asleep

Laid by his side his heart-inflaming brand,

Whilst many nymphs that vowed chaste life to keep

Came tripping by, but in her maiden hand

The fairest votary took up that fire,

Which many legions of true hearts had warmed ;

And so the general of hot desire

Was, sleeping, by a virgin hand disarmed.

This brand she quenched in a cool well by,

Which from Love’s fire took heart perpetual,

Growing a bath and healthful remedy

For men diseased ; But I, my mistress’ thrall,

Came there for cure, and this by that I prove :

Love’s fire heats water, water cools not love.

image

The little Love-god lying once asleep

Laid by his side his heart-inflaming brand,

Whilst many nymphs that vowed chaste life to keep

Came tripping by, but in her maiden hand

The fairest votary took up that fire,

Which many legions of true hearts had warmed ;

And so the general of hot desire

Was, sleeping, by a virgin hand disarmed.

This brand she quenched in a cool well by,

Which from Love’s fire took heart perpetual,

Growing a bath and healthful remedy

For men diseased ; But I, my mistress’ thrall,

Came there for cure, and this by that I prove :

Love’s fire heats water, water cools not love.

image

Cupid laid by his brand and fell asleep.

A maid of Dian’s this advantage found, 

And his love-kindling fire did quickly steep

In a cold valley-fountain of that ground ;

Which borrowed from this holy fire of Love

A dateless lively heat, still to endure,

And grew a seething bath, which yet men prove

Against strange maladies a sovereign cure.

But at my mistress’ eye Love’s brand new-fired,

The boy for trial needs would touch my breast ;

I, sick withal, the help of bath desired,

And thither hied, a sad distempered guest,

But found no cure ; the bath for my help lies

Where Cupid got new fire – my mistress’ eyes.

image

Cupid laid by his brand and fell asleep.

A maid of Dian’s this advantage found, 

And his love-kindling fire did quickly steep

In a cold valley-fountain of that ground ;

Which borrowed from this holy fire of Love

A dateless lively heat, still to endure,

And grew a seething bath, which yet men prove

Against strange maladies a sovereign cure.

But at my mistress’ eye Love’s brand new-fired,

The boy for trial needs would touch my breast ;

I, sick withal, the help of bath desired,

And thither hied, a sad distempered guest,

But found no cure ; the bath for my help lies

Where Cupid got new fire – my mistress’ eyes.

image

In loving thee thou know’st I am forsworn,

But thou art twice forsworn, to me love swearing ;

In act thy bed-vow broke, and new faith torn

In vowing new hate after new love bearing.

But why of two oaths’ breach do I accuse thee,

When I break twenty ? I am perjured most,

For all my vows are oaths but to misuse thee,

And all my honest faith in thee is lost ;

For I have sworn deep oaths of thy deep kindness,

Oaths of thy love, thy truth, thy constantcy ;

And, to enlighten thee, gave eyes to blindness,

Or made them swear against the thing they see ;

For I have sworn thee fair ; more perjured eye,

To swear against the truth so foul a lie.

image

In loving thee thou know’st I am forsworn,

But thou art twice forsworn, to me love swearing ;

In act thy bed-vow broke, and new faith torn

In vowing new hate after new love bearing.

But why of two oaths’ breach do I accuse thee,

When I break twenty ? I am perjured most,

For all my vows are oaths but to misuse thee,

And all my honest faith in thee is lost ;

For I have sworn deep oaths of thy deep kindness,

Oaths of thy love, thy truth, thy constantcy ;

And, to enlighten thee, gave eyes to blindness,

Or made them swear against the thing they see ;

For I have sworn thee fair ; more perjured eye,

To swear against the truth so foul a lie.

image

Love is too young to know what conscience is,

Yet who knows not conscience is born of love ?

Then, gentle cheater, urge not my amiss,

Lest guilty of my faults thy sweet self prove.

For, thou betraying me, I do betray

My nobler part to my gross body’s treason ;

My soul doth tell my body that he may

Triumph in love ; flesh stays no farther reason,

But, rising at thy name, doth point out thee,

As his triumphant prize. Proud of this pride,

He is contented thy poor drudge to be,

To stand in thy affairs, fall by thy side.

No want of conscience hold it that I call

Her “love” for whose dear love I rise and fall.

image

Love is too young to know what conscience is,

Yet who knows not conscience is born of love ?

Then, gentle cheater, urge not my amiss,

Lest guilty of my faults thy sweet self prove.

For, thou betraying me, I do betray

My nobler part to my gross body’s treason ;

My soul doth tell my body that he may

Triumph in love ; flesh stays no farther reason,

But, rising at thy name, doth point out thee,

As his triumphant prize. Proud of this pride,

He is contented thy poor drudge to be,

To stand in thy affairs, fall by thy side.

No want of conscience hold it that I call

Her “love” for whose dear love I rise and fall.